The Seychelles New Agency reports that Seychelles is taking steps to limit the damaging effects of fish aggregating devices (FADs) on the island nationís reefs and other marine life through a new project. It aims to intercept the fishing devices before they are washed up on the beaches, especially around the outer islands.
Problems associated with FADs include increased catch of juvenile target fish, such as tuna, as well as by-catch of non-targeted species, such as marine turtles. Lost or discarded FADs also inflict damage on coral reefs.
Gathering data on the seriousness of the issue around the Seychelles’ islands and getting purse seiners to realize and contribute towards the cost of FAD clean-ups are the secondary aims of the project.
The Island Conservation Society (ICS), the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), the Island Development Company (IDC) and the Spanish tuna boat owners associations of tuna freezer vessels (OPAGAC) signed a memorandum of understanding in July to kick-start the project. ICS will be alerted whenever a FAD is detected in the region of one of the islands where ICF has a presence, so that conservation officers can be called upon to intervene and intercept the FAD -- hopefully before it has caused too much environmental damage.